Local Couples Say “I do” Out-of-State

“Will you marry me?” A question asked daily all over our country.

Currently there are thirty-eight states that have banned same-sex marriage, either through legislation or constitutional amendments.

The only states (as of this writing) where same-sex marriage is legal are Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia.

The fact that the topic of marriage is such a strong focal point within the LGBT community, the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh has chosen “I Wanna Marry You” (a take-off on the Bruno Mars song) as the theme for Pittsburgh Pride 2013.

It’s a brilliant way for attendees of the event to support and encourage the right for everyone to be able to marry the person they love as well as bring attention to the fact that Pennsylvania is one of the thirty-eight states yet to legalize same-gender marriage.

While no official date for the SCOTUS rulings has been announced, it is likely to occur sometime in late June.

Below is a story about two local couples that have been legally married outside of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


Lindsey and Jessica Hallahan met one another nearly four years ago while they were both working for PNC Bank. A relationship that started off as a friendship soon blossomed into something much more and the two quickly became inseparable.

While on vacation in Ocean City, Maryland, Lindsey proposed to Jessica during a romantic walk on the beach.

The two were married on October 10, 2012 on Nantasket Beach, approximately twenty minutes outside of Boston. They had a romantic beach wedding that included a sand ceremony; Lindsey poured white sand while Jessica poured black sand into one container. The minister spoke about how the two types of sand now are together forever and can never be separated as they were before.

Because the wedding ceremony was held out of town, there were no friends in attendance. This gave both of their family members time to be together and adjust to each other.

Jessica felt it was important to stay positive to help their loved ones through the process. “Don’t give up on who you are for anyone. If your family and friends love you they will come around and see what makes you happy.”

It seems they didn’t need much time for that as they were all present for a reception that was held at South Park when they returned from the biggest adventure of their lives.

Lindsey and Jessica reside in Carrick with their family; Jessica is a stay-at-home mom to their two young children (Kaylee and Cruz) while Lindsey continues to work full time for PNC Bank.

Jessica is a Girl Scout troop leader as well as a member of the Carrick Community Council. They’re also both members of HRC and PNC Pride.

This happy couple has the love and support of family, friends, co-workers and community members.

They both agree that there’s a long way to go with the legalization of same-sex marriage in our country but are extremely positive. They’ve no fears or concerns that their Massachusetts marriage will be overturned though they do wish it was legal in Pennsylvania.

The women believe they deserve to be married just as anyone else does and feels their generation is more accepting and that positive change will continue throughout the country.

Lindsey summed things up in a prolific manner, “Never let anyone’s views get in the way. You won’t change anyone as they can’t change you. Accept others and move along. It’s great to keep positive things in your life.”


Brian Aiello and Randy Winslow, better known as BRANDY have been together since they met online in September 2007.

Randy had already been planning the perfect time to propose while Brian waited patiently. When he thought the time had come, he chose to ask Brian to marry him in front of the Old Stone Church in Monroeville; one of Brian’s favorite places. This is where he pulled a ring box from his coat pocket, bent down on one knee and asked Brian to spend the rest of his life with him.

The two were married on August 22, 2012. Their wedding was at Valley Stream Park on New York’s Long Island.

According to BRANDY, “This was to make it official in at least one state.”

They wanted family and friends to be a part of this special occasion so on September 8, 2012 they had a church blessing at St. Andrew Lutheran Church in Shadyside to celebrate their Holy Union; officiated by Pastor Marks, Randy’s pastor since childhood and Pastor Krug who represented Brian’s family.

The two wanted to pay tribute to their parents, most especially the unconditional love of their mothers.

While their fathers escorted their mothers into the sanctuary, the Backstreet Boys ‘Perfect Fan’ was played. The mothers lit a candle representing the life they gave to each of them and then each dressed the altar with a pleated rainbow flag.

A twelve person processional began to ‘The Broken Road’ by Rascal Flats. Their brothers, sister-in-laws, and many friends were part of the grooms’ party. Each chose a friend who stood as their ‘Best Witness.’ Brian was escorted by his God-daughter and niece, Kayla. Randy was escorted by his close friend Kathy.

The flags from the altar were draped on each groom’s shoulder by their witness before receiving Communion.

The traditional service ended with a receiving line with the grooms and their parents, followed by a luncheon reception on the Gateway Clipper’s Princess. After the luncheon, family and friends went back to the grooms’ home to continue the party.

The pair resides in Penn Hills and both work full time. Brian is a wholesale business consultant and Randy is a supervisor for a pharmacy and plan benefits company.

Like most couples their lives are focused on family and friends. They’re both involved with their church and try to balance work, life and faith equally. They spend a lot of time managing their home and property. Randy has a passion for cars, cooking and baking. Brian is a Drum Corp International enthusiast. This summer they’ll be river bound boaters with a recently purchased boat.

Both agree that when it comes to the question of same-sex marriage that each argument is rooted in religious faith and people tend to forget the concept of separation of church and state. Brian advised, “This is not to minimize our own Christian faith, but a need to balance faith from law. A church may choose not to bless the union of a same-sex couple. But we should be mindful of the thousands of people who stand before a Justice of the Peace to marry without ever stepping into a church. This is a basic Human Right and our constitution grants the pursuit of happiness. We all should have equal protection under the law!”

The fact that a legal marriage could be overturned is something that concerns both men.

As Randy pointed out, “If it can happen in California, it can happen anywhere. However, as more individuals have the courage to present themselves to their friends, family, co-workers, etc., more and more people will find it difficult to deny basic human rights of the ones that they love.”

Brian and Randy support HRC and hope that by sharing their story it will provide new opportunities for them to become more engaged.

They want others to have the ability to share the same joy and support that they have and for people to know that they are like any other couple; bills to pay, laundry to do and dinner that needs prepared. The only difference is that they are of the same sex and that doesn’t change the fact that life remains the same.

BRANDY ended with this thought,“We represent a portion of the LGBT community which is as diverse as the colors of the rainbow. Diversity represents strength!”

Karla Doolittle is a mother, wife, writer, artist and advocate. Residing in Regent Square with husband Devon, a professional singer, artist, advocate.